New England Patriots Dominate First Half
Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers started the game with the ball, and were moving it very effectively, until some questionable play calling caused their opening drive to stall out with a punt. From there, the Patriots asserted their dominance with an unbelievable offensive attack and just enough defense to keep them out of the danger zone for good.
Tom Brady’s passing was immaculate in the first half, as he repeatedly hooked up with wide receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski, to whom he threw three touchdowns in the game. These were predominantly short passes, which allowed Brady’s receivers to make runs after the catch rather than relying on deep passes that tend to be riskier.
When the halftime whistle blew, the Patriots led the Steelers 14-3, thanks in part to Brady’s great passing and the struggles of the Pittsburgh offense and kicking game, which saw two field goal attempts sail wide in the game’s opening 30 minutes.
Pittsburgh Steelers Can’t Answer
Needing to make up a double digit deficit in the second half, the Pittsburgh Steelers tried to rely on their superb passing game, which was effective enough to score them two touchdowns in the final two quarters. However, the Patriots also scored two touchdowns and did just enough to win the game 28-21.
One of the biggest issues for Pittsburgh, in addition to their kicking game, was their inability to stop the Patriots on third down situations. The Patriots were 7-11 on third downs for the game, giving them a success rate of 63% on a down where the defense is supposed to have an advantage. If the Steelers want to compete for a championship this year, they will need to improve in that facet of the game in a hurry.
New England Patriots Win With Emotion
Not only did the New England Patriots win the game, they did so with an emotional and defiant display after a summer in which they were dragged through the mud by the NFL and accused of cheating. The Patriots responded tonight with a pregame ceremony consisting of live bands, singers, and team owner Robert Kraft holding the Super Bowl trophy at midfield.
On the field, the Patriots spiked the ball after touchdowns, pounded their chests, and showed that they were heading into this season with a chip on their collective shoulder. American football tipsters have been put on notice: the New England Patriots are once again to be considered a favorite to win the Super Bowl.
By: Jason M. Sanin]]>